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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Mar 30;96(7):3819-23.

Pathogenetic sequence for aneurysm revealed in mice underexpressing fibrillin-1.

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  • 1Brookdale Center for Developmental and Molecular Biology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029, USA.

Abstract

Dissecting aortic aneurysm is the hallmark of Marfan syndrome (MFS) and the result of mutations in fibrillin-1, the major constituent of elastin-associated extracellular microfibrils. It is yet to be established whether dysfunction of fibrillin-1 perturbs the ability of the elastic vessel wall to sustain hemodynamic stress by disrupting microfibrillar assembly, by impairing the homeostasis of established elastic fibers, or by a combination of both mechanisms. The pathogenic sequence responsible for the mechanical collapse of the elastic lamellae in the aortic wall is also unknown. Targeted mutation of the mouse fibrillin-1 gene has recently suggested that deficiency of fibrillin-1 reduces tissue homeostasis rather than elastic fiber formation. Here we describe another gene-targeting mutation, mgR, which shows that underexpression of fibrillin-1 similarly leads to MFS-like manifestations. Histopathological analysis of mgR/mgR specimens implicates medial calcification, the inflammatory-fibroproliferative response, and inflammation-mediated elastolysis in the natural history of dissecting aneurysm. More generally, the phenotypic severity associated with various combinations of normal and mutant fibrillin-1 alleles suggests a threshold phenomenon for the functional collapse of the vessel wall that is based on the level and the integrity of microfibrils.

PMID:
10097121
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC22378
Free PMC Article

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